“D” Stands for Development
The “D” in the CEEDAR Center title stands for Development. The development of effective educators (see last month’s feature) does not happen by chance—it requires carefully crafted opportunities to learn with guidance and feedback. Furthermore, teacher development should extend beyond the pre-service training program and continue throughout the career. CEEDAR Center staff members describe this concept as O(TL)2, or effective opportunities for teachers and leaders to learn. To help facilitate this process, we have designed our evidence-based technical assistance (TA) products and services to strengthen professional learning systems so that we provide seamless O(TL)2 in every state and for every educator. Products CEEDAR Center staff members are finalizing knowledge development tools that will be available through intensive, targeted, and universal TA. Literature syntheses on the topics of systems change, leadership preparation reform, program evaluation, principal evaluation, and teacher education reform will be available. These syntheses will be operationalized into reform rubrics to assess readiness and facilitate macro-level change in these areas. In addition, writing teams have conducted a review of the 325T program enhancement projects and a state-by-state policy analysis; writing teams have also developed or revised Innovation Configurations (IC) to support comprehensive coverage of evidence-based practices (EBP) in needed content and pedagogy areas. These tools will be useful for states and school districts to review and enhance professional development programs and for teacher and leader education programs to review and enhance course content to ensure EBPs are embedded across all educator development. In each of the areas addressed by an IC, we will develop at least one Course Enhancement Module (CEM) as a compilation of resources for use in professional development and teacher preparation. Each CEM will include an anchor presentation for pre-service courses and adapted in-service professional development options, activities, and links to online resources (the first CEM on disciplinary literacy is available here). Finally, we will make available a variety of state profiles to provide contextual information on states and the initiatives being implemented. As the CEEDAR Center partners with states in TA, the tools and resources sections of our website will become more robust. We will refine these initial products over time, and new items will be added. Services TA is only as good as the quality, usefulness, and relevance of the products and services we provide. CEEDAR Center staff members provide TA with different levels of services (i.e., intensive, targeted, and universal). We provide asynchronous and synchronous support through our online Networked Improvement Community (NIC) for states that partner with us at the intensive and, in some instances, targeted levels. Undergirded by the work of Tony Bryk (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching), we network the communities of stakeholders to engage in purposeful problem-solving activities. Because we work across the United States, effective use of technology is critical. Through the NIC, TA partners and CEEDAR Center staff members share documents; have real-time chats; communicate through discussion threads; assess programmatic needs using ICs; and develop, manage, and document action through the electronic Blueprint. Online interactions are often forged and strengthened at meetings facilitated by CEEDAR Center staff members. We design these meetings to develop collaborative relationships and to focus the TA efforts, including the use of products and services. Additionally, we can build capacity within the state to continue the engagement in the absence of the CEEDAR Center facilitators. Just as teacher and leader development require carefully crafted opportunities to learn, the CEEDAR Center team works diligently to Develop products and services to assist stakeholders in making these opportunities happen. It is our intention that the TA we provide impacts outcomes for students with disabilities by improving the professional learning systems of their teachers and leaders.